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   Old Thread  #263 14 Feb 2012 at 1.25pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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l suppose i have been a bit of a jack the lad there's not many lakes around my home territory i have not fished most were poached in my younger days. Even today some of the older generation come up to me and say i can remember you when you poached the woods and hills god some of these oldies must be in there nineties you were a rum un they would say. I was i can not tell lies but in the early years the forties and fifties i had to poach so we could live my step father did not earn big money he worked on the railway as a signal man times were very hard nothing was waisted so my parents were always grateful for anything i could shoot or catch i started off with the humble catapult most young lads had one in those days but i learned to use it and became very accurate i shot lots rabbits with it and the odd pheasant i would walk the hedgerows and the big nettle beds i found the nettle beds very good they would always produce a few rabbits. I manage to catch a few out of the nettle patches i acquired an old net and would put it round the outside of a big patch then walk it through but in those days there was thousands of rabbits it did not matter were you went you would see rabbits they certainly kept a good many fed. But most of the big keepered estates employed a man to catch the rabbits they were then sent by rail to the cities i think they sold for about sixpence, each the chap would catch hundreds it was revenue for the estate the poor fellow only earned about two pounds a week and it was very hard work.

When i was young i never feared any one i could run if i was discovered or even swim the river to get away when i was a youth there were a few battles fought with gangs of poachers and the keepers but by the time i had got to fifteen years old most of these gangs had stopped most of the poaching in the fifties was done by individuals so they could live and make a few bob for the back pocket, i loved to be out on a windy night with the long nets there was always two freinds and my self, you could clear up the rabbits, on a good night the one farm was over run hundreds i would set the net in the day time keeping the net rolled up to allow the rabbits, to pass under neath and go into the fields i would set it beside the rail way line where most of the rabbits were coming from we would go back at midnight drop the net then two would walk the fields with the dogs i would stand by the net you could feel the rabbits, hitting the net you were kept busy running up and down the net dispersing the rabbits if you were lucky you may get as many as fifty or even more you certainly could make a few bob from there sale but it was not all legal as you would poach some of the big estates when doing this you set your net in the dark that was a bit harder but you soon got the hang of it i have not been out with the long nets for many years no need really i am now a bit to old but it is still used in some places. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #262 11 Feb 2012 at 3.17pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I suppose i am lucky i have lived the dream i have had a wonderful life full of excitement, i have also met many friends along the way some famous some not but it has been a pleasure although i am nearly seventy my love for fishing and the country side is still as great as it was when i was young, i still get a thrill when i see the big skeins of geese pass over head or the peregrine swoop on its prey or the splash of a fish far out in the lake it always gives me pleasure. I remember myself and my mate graham getting permission to fish a small lake in Shropshire the owner was a lady she was in love with this old lake, i went to see her she lived in a beautiful old black and white cottage which stood at the end of the lake, she loved the wild life and would come down and feed the water fowl i knocked her door thinking i would be refused but no she gave us permission there was staging built over one part of the lake but we had a problem getting to it i suppose it was some time in the sixties we were like two young school boys a whole lake given us to fish and no one else fishing it. The lady would come around to see us when we were there and talk about the country side or her lake, wanting to know what we had caught she was quite an educated lady and could chat about most subjects.

on our first meeting i asked what fish were in the lake oh she said tench carp and perch well graham and i decided we would float fish i remember using this ground bait i cant remember the name but we would add a few drops of tincture of lemon grass it smelled absolutely gorgeous it was trial and error in those far off days we would put our maggots, in Fine ground up bread crumbs, then add a few drops of tincture of lemon and use them on the hook a size twelve. The lake was only about four ft deep what fun we had the first time we went the weather was cloudy and wet we started to catch a fish a cast beautiful deep bodied tench, if i remember right we ended our morning session with over eighty pounds this was fishing at its best we also caught perch to two pounds plus we were very protective of our fishing on this lake and never told a soul graham and i fished that old lake for at least three years. Then one day we went to fish and there were other anglers around the lake it was the beginning of the end she started to charge fish shillings a day, i could see what was coming she came down to see me one day and said pete i am sorry but i am stopping the fishing to much litter is being left, we already knew and had been collecting it up by the bag full she stopped all fishing included us and let the lake to the RSPC we were devastated while we fished on the lake the neighboring farmer, would come down and chat he said to me he had a problem with the rabbits on his property did we know any one with ferrets look no further we said we also shoot i have never seen so many rabbits, there were black ones black and white ones i think some pet rabbits, must have escaped at one time and bred, this farmers land bordered one of the biggest shoots in shropshire bloody pheasants every where i just could not help my self we had a few away it was cash in the pocket which helped buy our fishing tackle well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #261 11 Feb 2012 at 3.17pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #255
I suppose i am lucky i have lived the dream i have had a wonderful life full of excitement, i have also met many friends along the way some famous some not but it has been a pleasure although i am nearly seventy my love for fishing and the country side is still as great as it was when i was young, i still get a thrill when i see the big skeins of geese pass over head or the peregrine swoop on its prey or the splash of a fish out in the lake it always gives me pleasure. I remember myself and my mate graham getting permission to fish a small lake in Shropshire the owner was a lady she was in love with this old lake i went to see her she lived in a beautiful old black and white cottage at the end of the lake she loved the wild life and would come down and feed the water fowl i knocked her door thinking i would be refused but no she gave us permission there was staging built over one part of the lake but you had a problem getting to it i suppose it was some time in the sixties we were like two young school boys a whole lake given us to fish and know one else fishing. The lady would come around to see us when we were there and talk about the country side or her lake wanting to know what we had caught she was quite an educated lady and could chat about most subjects.

on our first meeting i asked what fish were in the lake oh she said tench carp and perch well graham and i decided we would float fish i remember using this ground bait we would add a few drops of tincture of lemon grass it smelled absolutely gorgeous it was trial and error in those far off days we would put our maggots in Fine ground up bread crumbs then add a few drops of tincture of lemon and use them on the hook a size twelve. The lake was only about four ft deep what fun we had the first time we went the weather was cloudy and wet we started to get a fish a cast beautiful deep bodied tench if i remember right we ended our morning session with over eighty pounds this was fishing at its best we also caught perch to two pounds plus we were very protective of our fishing on this lake and never told a soul graham and i fished that old lake for at least three years then one day we went to fish and there were other anglers around the lake it was the beginning of the end she stared to charge fish shillings a day i could see what was coming she came down to see me one day and said pete i am sorry but i am stopping the fishing to much litter is being left we already knew and had been collecting it up buy the bag full but she stopped all fishing included us and let the lake to the RSPC we were devastated while we fished on the lake the neighboring farmer would come down and chat he said to me he had a problem with the rabbits on his property did we know any one with ferrets look no further we said we also shoot i have never seen so many rabbits there were black ones black and white ones i think some pet rabbits must have escaped at one time and breed this farmers land bordered one of the biggest shoots in shropshire bloody pheasants every where i just could not help my self we had a few away it was cash in the pocket which helped by our fishing tackle well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #260 11 Feb 2012 at 12.00pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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loving this pete
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   Old Thread  #259 10 Feb 2012 at 1.30pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I never miss an installment mate ... as Bob says essential forum reading

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   Old Thread  #258 10 Feb 2012 at 12.34pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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In reply to Post #255
I wouldn't say those days will never return Pete ... I think this government would like to see the working man back on the bread line, make him easier to control ... maybe as well to dig the old Diana out and oil the washer

i have got a better tool for the job now but to b old to use it i am glad you still like my stories it makes it worth while it takes a bit of remembering although i have some in my diaries, it is all true i have really lead an exciting life and would love to do it all again pete
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   Old Thread  #257 10 Feb 2012 at 12.03pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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   Old Thread  #256 10 Feb 2012 at 12.00pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I wouldn t say those days will never return Pete ... I think this government would like to see the working man back on the bread line, make him easier to control ... maybe as well to dig the old Diana out and oil the washer

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   Old Thread  #255 10 Feb 2012 at 10.42am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I was besotted by these woods and lake i was going to fish it whatever happened i told you all in the previous chapter how i was going to have some of the pheasants away a friend asked me if he could come along i was a bit apprehensive as i preferred to poach alone i did not like being responsible for others but he was a good young lad and belonged to a local gypsy clan i could trust him with my life SO one weekend if i remember Right it was a Saturday night i decided to try another way onto the estate but it meant forging the river i knew the river was quite low so there would be no trouble it was only ankle deep we hid our bikes in the under growth beside the river then forged across coming out behind the hall we made for the main coverts but really it did not matter where we went there were birds every where, they used to put thousands down it was approaching Christmas and a few quid in our pocket would help over the festive season i would have no trouble getting rid as times were still quite hard and the birds were always welcome at home and for friends living on our village.

jack knew the woods quite well his family had been big poachers over the years so he was brought up with it in his blood, he was going to hold the light and i would shoot jack, had brought along a good sack to pop the birds into and i also had the old post office bag on my back the shooting was quite easy funny birds they would just sit there you would have one then another maybe from the same branch, we started to fill the bags you can get to greedy i said to jack not to many it will be awkward and to heavy to carry them back to our bikes we heard a shout and a whistle bloody hell jack run they are after us we ran through the woods but with bags of birds it was a bit heavy going so we hid the birds and i slipped my gun into the undergrowth beside the river, as i looked back i could see the lights on a vehicle coming our way i never stopped to find out but i think it was the police in the land rover i could hear shouting in the distance and hear the bark of dogs probably alsatians, i was certainly frightened where was jack, no sign of him at all god i hope they had not caught him i forded the river once again and lay down in the long grass beside the river and that's where i stayed for the next two hours things went very quite i was just thinking i would fetch my gun when i heard a noise Pete, where are you it was jack, where have you been up a tree we are lucky to escape he said there was about thirteen keepers with the police what about the birds i have got them as he dropped the sack on the floor there a bit heavy, i crossed the river once again and collected my gun and bag you could still hear the occasional shout back in the woods.

We will have to be careful going home with a bike and two bags full of birds, i had strapped the gun to my cross bar we dare not go onto the roads jack, as they maybe looking for us, it was a bit hard going as we crossed the fields pushing our bikes it took us a good hour to get home we approached the house from the rear through the hedge then sorted the birds sixteen in all not a bad night jack do you want one no ill have half what we make when you sell them i said good night to jack, as he peddled his bike home to the caravans down the Berry's lane how the keepers knew we were there i don't know unless they saw the lamp but we had got away once again it was not the last time i went to that estate i nearly got caught again but i told you all about that in part one of my stories i fished it many times and caught some lovely tench and perch but i was always on edge and could not relax but that was years ago now i have my memories but they were good days no need to poach now pheasants are two a penny its not worth the effort, we poached to live and to put some cash in our back pockets they were hard days which will never return.

Well a bit more latter


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   Old Thread  #254 8 Feb 2012 at 5.38pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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There was one lake about 6 miles from my home i desperately wanted to fish i suppose i was about seventeen at the time it was a beautiful lake and i was told it held some big tench and the odd carp but the problem was getting to fish the water it was so very heavily keepered it was about ten acres in size with extensive Lilly beds and reed fringed i made up my mind i was going to give it a go but none of my mates would go any where near the place they were to frightened i would take only one rod a few worms and maggots if i could get some from our local tackle shop a chap by the name of ken Phillips owned the place and you could get some useful information about the local lakes, from him i mentioned the lake he said don't go you will be caught it is strictly private and they have some big shooting days on the estate, but i would not be there in the day only night time, and so it was on the Friday night i was away rods tied on the cross bar of my bike bag on my back with an assortment of tackle and a few sandwiches and a bottle of pop arriving at the estate i hid my bike in the undergrowth and made my way across the field skirting the big house and keepers cottage it was nearly dark by the time i reached the lake it was fringed with reeds i made my way towards the water through the reed bed it was quite firm under feet i decided to ledger and use a big lob worm on the hook i used the back light from my bike which gave a nice red glow and positioned it so it showed up my bobbin, which was a piece of doe, i could not be seen in the big reed bed and i found an old tree branch to sit on i did not have to wait long up went the bobbin i played the fish with some excitement landing the fish with my hands no landing net in those days it was a perch about a pound or so but it was a start the next fish was a tench not big but very welcome i froze i could hear talking from some where behind the swim noise travels at night so i was not to concerned then i heard dogs barking it was the keepers.

I really got a bit worried i wound my rod in and peered into the wood i saw no one, the talking had stopped but i could still hear the dogs barking in the distance i wondered what was up why were the keepers about in the woods at this time it was around one in the morning maybe looking for poachers i managed another couple of perch and a good eel well about three pounds that would go home for eating we loved them my mum would strip the skin from the eel then cut it in chunks dip it in batter then fry it was lovely with a pan of potatoes and peas, before i left the lake i shone my torch up a couple of trees there were pheasants every where i would certainly be back and have a few of those i nearly got caught the first time i went ill tell you more latter
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   Old Thread  #253 5 Feb 2012 at 12.46pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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I have fished the river a good many times in this weather, althought the line froze to the rod i have had some good bags of roach and chub but in those days there were no hand warmers and you hands would hurt from the frosty conditions. we really never had the clothing we have today so we would put on whatever we could get hold of most people would wear wellingtons no good i always would put on a good pair of lace up boots which had been given a good rub over with dubbing they would certainly be water proof and with a good pair of socks would keep you quite warm funny really i would go fishing most weather frost hail or snow but today i am not so keen the older you get you are more you are likly to suffer from the cold i am seventy in may so i have not done to bad.

As you all know i was not past doing a bit of poaching it was a necessity really but did not like to go in snowy conditions as the baliffs or keepers could soon see your tracks and know you had been there but if you had no food or not much money needs must. There was so many pheasents around in those days that you never had much trouble catching a few i would feed along a hedge row with a few razins or currents mixed with a bit of corn you would soon have them feeding with confidence all you neaded was a bit of fishing line and a good strong hook and a current mounted on the hook i would lie in the hederow with my water proofs on they were easy to catch and i would soon have a few in the bag i would always cover my tracks the best i could the problem was getting the birds home especially in the day light so i would hide them and fetch them when darkness fell, i got quite freindly with a family of gypsies they were Real Romanys and had lived in shrophire most of there lifes i got to know the one quite well his name was jack but to me it was jacko he liked a bit of poaching himself he owned a couple of lurchers and he would be out all hours catching the rabbits and hares that inhabited the big estates of shropshire infact he showed me how he tickled the trout he was a good poacher a master of his craft but he did not like company when out at night i did go with him a couple of times have you ever tried carrying three or four Hares over the feilds heavy i can tell you it was not for me. but we remained freinds for many years untill his untimly death from cancer.

Infact i made many freinds that were gypsies some even went to school with me i could trust them with my life the one family had a number of ponies they would let me ride them no sadle infact old joe would come with me he loved those horses as much as his family he would break them in and sell them on at the big horse shows he would go all the way to cumbria to one such show selling and buying but i think it was an exuse for a drink or two he was a bit of a lad and could use his fists no man frits me pete he would say you could see he was well muscled he would fight any man as long as there was money in it he would return home black and blue but a bit better off in pocket his wife would play hell althought she was very proud of him she was worried in case he got badly hurt but he never did i have not seen joe for some time as he moved away but most of his family are still here they have now moved into houses joe liked to be on the road the last i heard he was at another village in north shropshire
he must be getting on a bit as he went to school with me i have some fond memories of old joe and our times at school together. well a bit more latter

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   Old Thread  #252 2 Feb 2012 at 11.18am Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
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Talking the other day i was asked what did i consider my greatest gift i had no trouble at all answering the question love i answered love for all things your family nature and your fellow man it costs nothing i have a great love of nature just sit and watch a spider weave his Web or a salmon jumping the falls to get to his spawning ground or the eel traveling all those miles from the sargasso sea how on earth do they know were there going this is nature at its best most people do not give it a second thought but it is a most wonderful thing .

When i think back about the times i sat with old SAM and he said nature is a gift its a love of all things and he truly believed that and it showed in the way he lived his life, he was one of the old school he was a keeper although it was part of his life to clean the vermin up by trapping and shooting he had great respect for all animals i remember the time he caught a badger in a snare he did not kill it but brought it home alive for his wife to care for it, he taught me such a lot about all things butterflies birds and foxes all things really trout fishing with his old fly rods well poaching i would say what if we will get caught who by i am the keeper what about the bailiffs if they come we run it was the way he said it i would roll over laughing he would take those fish home for his wife she would make a wonderful meal with them.

It was me who he would send up the old cherry trees to collect the fruit why me i would say yer younger than me if the gaffer comes yer can run faster i would take my air gun up to his house don't e shoot any of my birds with that will e no Sam i wont. I don't know how he did it but he acquired a new spring for that gun he had a lot of trouble getting it to fit he would take it rook shooting to the big rookery in the woods, he would only shoot ten or twelve put them in a sack and take them back for his wife he would sit at the dinner table eating this big rook pie god it made me feel sick just looking dust e wont some young un no i don't you don't know whats good for yer leave the boy alone his wife would say he would just laugh, but i have told you all this before it was a real hard life in the few years after the war i think most people lived on rabbit we would have it in a big pie with a pastery covering or stewed even roasted the humble rabbit fed thousands sam would drop a couple of on his way shopping he walked every where he went he did have a bike but i never saw him on it much he would call his feet my shanks ponies i would say are you going to walk to clun sam yes on my shanks ponies he would say where that word came from i dont no but i have heard a few use it today. It was the best time of my life and in the few years i knew sam i learned such a lot but one stands out more than any and that is love for all things. well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #251 31 Jan 2012 at 1.57pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #247
i have told you about Rodger in the last thread he came to live on my village a few years ago he moved from Winchester with his wife and daughter at the time he really knew nobody on the village i was on a shoot one day and Rodger happened to be beating i suppose it was in the late seventies i don't think he will mind me saying i saved him having a breakdown he missed his friends and home so much. He had not made many friends on our village of bayston hill. Rodge liked a bit of ferreting he had a good many ferrets and they were not being used so i suggested he come along with myself and graham he was a changed man although he was very laid back and said very little but when out ferritin those rabbits he always had a big smile on his face i also got him out shooting he would come with me to a few shoots in and around Shropshire he mostly helped the beaters but it was not long before he was using the gun and was a reasonable shot but like us all he has aged since i have known him he has had two heart attacks and skin cancer but he never packs in.

I have taken Rodger with me trout fishing on more than one occasion he would make himself comfortable in the punt as we drifted down the lake casting a fly to the many trout feeding of the surface i have offered to teach him i have handed him the rod but he would always decline why i don't know but he always seemed happy to just sit and watch i always gave him two or three trout at the end of the day he was like a dog with two tales ill have um for my tea tonight he would say, he is a member of my syndicate but this year he has struggled with his knees he has osteoarthritis the same illness that i have he also has got a frozen shoulder and he is now waiting for an operation on his knees but i wonder if he will get one owing to his problems which he suffered in the past ie heart attacks but he is a grand old friend and i wish him well i just hope it does not finish him going out with his ferrets.

I loved this time of year it was nearly the start of spring the one wood is covered in shoots belonging to the snow drop it wont be long before they are in flower its only a small wood, the condover brook runs through the middle of the wood i have caught a few trout from here when i was a young man i would spin or worm they never grew very big around a pound but beautiful to eat no one seems to go into this old wood it like the time has stood still there are some of the old gin traps still hanging from a tree just like the day the keeper left them there, that would be old Frank bell the traps have rusted up over the years they were cruel things i have seen them take an animals leg off they have been banned for many years but when i was young they were used a lot. How thing have changed over the years it is in this small wood that i would clime and hide from the keepers and the police the old trees are still there especially the big fir where i would hide my self in the thick branches as i stand and look up this old tree i wondered how i climbed it all those years ago i certainly could not now but that is my age, my mind is still willing but my body is not. Well a bit more latter
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   Old Thread  #250 29 Jan 2012 at 2.33pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #249
my grandads been on wharfarin tablets for years, he says it makes you feel the cold alot more due to it thinning your blood. he also nods off alot but think this is more a side effect of my grandma rather than the wharfarin
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   Old Thread  #249 29 Jan 2012 at 2.22pm Login so you can post / reply  Register so you can join in!
In reply to Post #246
Thanks matt and you Brian very much appreciated i have got to see a specalist now but at least they have removed the clot with warfrin injections thanks both of you the only thing is i have been a bit tired since i came out but that should pass
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